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About Manaus

New York was built on granite, London on clay. But Manaus was built on rubber. As the furthest navigable port on the Amazon, some 1,000 miles from the ocean, the city sprang up as a centre for rubber exports from the Brazilian plantations and became a focal point for trade.

Taking its name from the Manaos Indians who inhabited the region, the city became a huge boomtown at the end of the 19th century, as more and more rubber was harvested from the surrounding rain forest.

As the economy thrived, the locals erected monuments to their success. The most flamboyant being the huge golden-domed Opera House, which was imported, stone by laborious stone, from Europe. At its height, it also boasted palatial mansions and a hedonistic life-style.

Nowadays, the rubber industry has died away, but the city, with its vast crumbling civic building, remains a fascinating gaudy metropolis, set amidst a sea of dense rain forest.


Shore excursions in Manaus

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Amazon Experience

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 7½ hours

A wonderful opportunity to experience the Amazon area that surrounds Manaus City.

Setting off in a local riverboat from Manaus, your Amazon experience begins with a riverboat ride down the Rio Negro, passing the houses of the ribeirinhos (river people), built on stilts to accommodate the river’s tidal fluctuation. You’ll see floating petrol stations and an ice factory before arriving at the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões.

This is the birthplace of the mighty Amazon River. The ‘Meeting of the Waters’ is where the muddy yellow water of the mighty Solimões and the clear, dark water of the Rio Negro meet and continue to flow together without intermingling. Watch the phenomenon of the two rivers meeting, as their two distinctly coloured waters run parallel for several miles.

Continue on to Lake January, an ecological park situated between the two rivers where you’ll disembark and take a short walk along a boardwalk to observe the waters lilies from privileged lookout point. Exotic birds, monkeys and wild orchids may be discovered here.

Afterwards, from a landing stage, you’ll board small-motorised canoes to journey deeper into the narrow overgrown tributaries. On board the canoe, you'll float under the dense umbrella of trees that add to the quiet mystery of this region. If river conditions permit, you may be able to admire the Victoria Regia water lilies, the leaves of which can measure up to one metre across.

On the return to the floating pier, enjoy a buffet lunch featuring typical Amazonian dishes. You’ll be given some free time, to browse the local art and crafts, before re-joining the riverboat for your return journey to Manaus.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by riverboat, canoe and on foot. This tour involves around 1 hourof walking. Comfortable, flat non-slip walking shoes are essential. There are steps to negotiate when embarking the boats and at Lake January. The trail to the water lilies is optional and takes around 10 minutes each way over a wooden bridge with a steep slope to negotiate. The trail can be slippery when wet. It is advisable to take a raincoat, sunscreen and insect repellent. The canoe trip has no commentary. The order of highlights may vary.

An Evening at the Manaus Opera House - A Herald of

Activity medium

Duration: 1½ hours

A rare opportunity to enjoy a Christmas Nativity at probably the most unique Opera House in the world.

The Chamber Orchestra of the Amazon and the Choir of the University of Amazon,proudly present a performance of ‘the Herald of Toys’ at the Manaus Opera House, the most famous building in Amazonia.

This exceptional venue is the perfect setting for you to appreciate the talents of this local choir and orchestra. There will be a multitude of toys and characters which come to life and tell the story of Dorothy, a blind girl whose eyesight returns on Christmas Eve, which coincides with the arrival of Santa Claus and the Birth of Jesus. This magical show will also have songs and rhythms inspired by local Amazonian traditions.

The Opera House - If any one building reflects the wealth of the rubber boom, then this must be it. Reported to have cost $10 million, the Opera House was completed in 1896, replete with French tiles and Italian frescoes all specifically imported for the rubber barons’ theatre. Its gilded dome, composed of 36,000 French tiles, is made to a special design to reflect the colours of Brazil’s national flag. Today the Opera House has been restored to its former splendour and is home to the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra.

Essential information

This tour will operate by coach and on foot. Dress code will be smart casual. The performance will last approximately 1 hour. Passengers are advised that due to the design and layout of the theatre, you may not be allocated your preferred seat on arrival. Please also note that some seating may have restricted views of the stage. There are steps at the Opera House. Photography and video are not permitted inside, or used during the performance. Drinks are available for purchase in the foyer. Seats are limited, book early to avoid disappointment.

Manaus City Tour

Activity medium

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover the capital of the Amazonas State, a sprawling city of contrasts with some interesting highlights.

A scenic drive through Manaus will take you along the waterfront and through the historical and modern areas of the city. See the ‘Teatro Amazonas’, Manaus Opera House, built in 1896 in the days of the great rubber boom. Greats such as Caruso have graced the stage of this magnificent building, which has now been restored to all its former splendour.

A visit to the Indian Museum, dedicated to the lost Indian cultures of the region, gives a good idea of traditional lifestyles. Exhibits include wooden blowpipes, feather head dresses and unexplained artefacts.

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Art Nouveau-style Municipal Market, which represents a miniature of the previously famous Les Halles in Paris. The stalls sell an immense variety of fruits, herbs, powders and medicinal extracts.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around 1½ hours’ walking. There are approximately 30 steps at the Opera House and a further 20 at the Indian Museum. Heavy traffic may be encountered during this tour.

Rainforest Walk

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

This fascinating nature walk will show you the abundant diversity and natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest.

A scenic 1 hour-long ride on a regional riverboat will take you up the majestic Rio Negro River. During the boat ride, your guide will brief you about the eco-system and the dynamics of the region. Arriving at Lake Guedes, you'll transfer into a smaller motorised canoe for a short ride deeper into the narrow tributary.

Once you reach the rainforest, your local guide will lead you on foot into the jungle for your 1-hour long walk. Feel the intensity of the rainforest first-hand as you walk through the thickets of trees and dense vegetation. The vegetation of the Amazon Basin is probably the most richly varied on earth and you'll have plenty of time to absorb these surroundings. Your guide will introduce you to some of the survival techniques of the native people, such as how to build a shelter or construct a trap for small animals.

Your return to Manaus will be a 1 hour transfer by regional riverboat, during which fresh fruits and fruit juice will be available for you to enjoy.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by riverboat and on foot. This tour is only suitable for those in good physical condition. Children under 10 may not participate. This tour involves walking over some rough and uneven ground, which can be very muddy and slippery with some steep inclines in parts. Comfortable, flat, nonslip walking shoes are essential. Passengers are advised to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, a hat and sunglasses. Please also carry a raincoat, insect repellent, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

Rio Negro Cruise

Activity low

Duration: 4½ hours

This unique river tour allows you to experience the beauty and mystery of the Amazon.

A riverboat ride will take you up the dark waters of the Rio Negro to see one of the most awe-inspiring sights in nature. The Meeting of the Waters is the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões. The Solimões is a white water river, muddy with suspended material, whilst the Negro is the colour of black tea. The two flow side by side, but do not join.

The vast ecological park of Lake January Reserve is home to one of the region’s most unusual plants, the giant Victoria-Regia water lily, named in honour of Queen Victoria. The Amazon Lake is filled with the water lilies, their pads looking like elegant dinner plates with delicate crimson ribbing on their undersides. Here, you’ll transfer into motorised canoes to journey deeper into the narrow tributaries known as ‘igarapes’.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by riverboat, canoe and on foot.There are several steps involved when embarking the riverboats and at Lake January. The trail can be slippery when wet. Comfortable, flat non-slip walking shoes are essential. Passengers are advised to take a raincoat, sunscreen and insect repellent. The canoe trip has no commentary. Due to the layout of the canoes passengers will need to bend and step over seating when embarking and disembarking.


A selection of cruises to Manaus


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